Three consecutive absolute majorities, between 2003 and 2011, in Madrid. But the milestone Hope Aguirre was cheating and this is established by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which speaks of “clear indications of electoral falsehood” in his recent report presented to the Central Investigating Court 6 for piece 9 of the Punic case, on the existence of a box b in the PP of Madrid with which he financed his electoral campaigns.
However, despite assuming that there were electoral crimes linked to the illegal financing of the Madrid PP in the 2007 and 2011 elections, Prosecutor Alejandro Cabaleiro proposes to exonerate the former Madrid president either because the crime prescribed (2007) or because there are no indications that the Madrid PP president was her instigator in the case of the 2011 regional elections.
For the same reasons, the prosecutor proposes not to try Ignacio Gonzalezvice president of Aguirre and his successor in the presidency of the Community of Madrid, and focuses the accusations on Francisco Granados, former Minister of the Presidency and campaign manager for the regional elections of 2011, to whom he accuses a electoral crime, another of influence peddling and also bribery.
Hope Aguirre was charged in 2019 by Judge García Castellón in this piece of ‘Púnica’, which adds a dozen lines of investigation with public officials of the PP from various communities, officials and businessmen investigated for being part of a gigantic plot of public adjudications, which in Madrid alone it would amount to 250 million euros.
The investigation began in 2014 with the investigations focused on Francisco Granados, then secretary general of the PP in Madrid. Shortly after, the investigators found an agenda of his with the initials of the donors of the Madrid PP, something like the ‘Bárcenas papers’.
“Dynamics of electoral falsity”
The magistrate described Aguirre in his indictment as the promoter of a framework in the Community of Madrid from 2004 to divert public money to the Madrid PP through a “plan forged with his trusted advisers for the continued use during three campaigns [electorales] of numerous artifices to hide electoral expenses and pay for them with flows of funds from different sources, outside the public accounts” of the party.
García Castellón, accepted the Anticorruption request and charged Aguirre with seven crimes -bribery, embezzlement of public funds, prevarication, forgery of documents, fraud, influence peddling and electoral fraud-, considering that Esperanza Aguirre had allegedly ordered Beltran Gutierrezformer manager of the Madrid PP, “develop a continuous dynamic of electoral falsehood” for a decade.
But now the prosecution has changed its mind and it says with respect to Aguirre that “there have been no evidences that allow affirming that he was aware of the crimes.” The Anticorruption report is only signed by Alejandro Cabaleiro, the most recent prosecutor incorporated into the investigation, while the prosecutors Carmen Garcia Cerda and Teresa Galvezwhich began the investigations in 2014, have not signed it with their rubrics as they disagree on some aspects, among others, the prescription of crimes related to the 2007 elections.
This criterion on the non-continuity of the crime and, therefore, its prescription with respect to those of 2007, has caused the file for the vast majority of the accused. Of 152, the Prosecutor’s Office now proposes prosecution for only 10.
The Prosecutor’s Office points to Granados and Beltrán Gutiérrez as the main instigators of the network of influences that led to the irregular financing of the 2011 electoral campaign. It proposes their prosecution along with that of eight other people related to reputation work on-line for different PP politicians paid with public funds, among them, the former directors of Aguirre Salvador Victoria and Borja Sarasola.
Benefited from reputational works
Regarding these facts, “the criminal character is maintained”, says the prosecutor, but he exonerates Aguirre, for there is no evidence that “a concert was made for his execution”, although he acknowledges that he benefited from the reputational work carried out by the company of the presumed ‘achiever’ Alejandro de Pedro, who will finally sit on the bench.
Anticorruption indicates that the participation of Granados “turned out key” to introduce the ‘achiever’ of the plot “in the field” of the PP in the Community of Madrid and in that of the people who carried out part of the reputation work investigated.
About the Foundation for the Economic and Social Development of the Community of Madrid, Fundescam, Considered by the ‘Púnica’ investigators as the tool that the PP used to irregularly finance the expenses of its electoral campaigns with public funds from subsidies, the prosecutor’s report alludes to a conversation between Aguirre and Ignacio González of which the representative of the Public Ministry says that it could be revealing that the then president of Madrid “could suspect, or intuit, that the electoral spending limit would have been exceeded” for the campaign and the role of Fundescam in that regard.
But he concludes that “considering the absence of evidence”, it cannot be argued that Aguirre was in “deliberate ignorance” regarding that foundation of the PP. The same is said about the organizational change in your government so that all advertising contracts had to receive the approval of the General Directorate of Media.
The prosecutor says that it does not constitute an indication that Aguirre had made that change “for criminal purposes”, since none of those investigated has declared that it participated in contracting procedures with advertising companies.
The prosecutor considers that “the credibility of the initial complainant”, the former mayor of Majadahonda, Guillermo Ortega, sentenced to 40 years for the Gürtel case, “is manifestly insufficientboth for being a reference testimonial, and for its subsequent procedural position”.
Now Judge Manuel García Castellón must decide whether to admit the request from the Prosecutor’s Office to file the case for Aguirre and Ignacio González, as he did with Cristina Cifuentes in April 2021.